For this segment of our Meet Our People series, we sat down with one of our talented Business Development Managers, April Ravarra. Let’s take a look at what she had to say.
Can you tell us a little bit about your professional experience before coming to Gore Mutual? What attracted you to the insurance industry?
Unlike many people in our industry, I joined deliberately, taking the Insurance Program at Mohawk College. The program had amazing teachers and 100% job placement. During my time at Mohawk, I worked part time at a brokerage where I met some great people that helped guide me through my career.
So far, my career has been a good mix of insurer and brokerage experience. After graduating, I was hired as a commercial auto underwriter in a fast-tracking program, where I started as an associate and finished as a senior underwriter in only four years. From there, I spent 10 years in the broker world, learning personal, commercial and corporate insurance. In 2016, I came to Gore Mutual, and I’ve been having a great time here ever since.
What are some things you love about working at Gore Mutual?
What I truly love about working at Gore Mutual is how we give back to the community. When we say we are doing our part, we really mean it. The Gore Mutual Foundation is over 20 years old, and over the past two decades we’ve helped over 700 charities across Canada, with a $42 million social return on investment.
What’s your favourite part about being on our Business Development team?
My favourite part goes hand in hand with why I love working here – delivering the Foundation cheques together with our broker partners. Having the opportunity to meet the charities and the individuals involved, listening to their stories, and learning how our donations will benefit their causes is so incredible that sometimes, it’s overwhelming. Having the opportunity to give back to the communities that we work and live in is a wonderful thing. It’s so rewarding to see the love and gratitude in the eyes of the people that work so hard to make sure there is opportunity for those going through difficult times.
How has our Business Development team evolved over the past few years?
We have amazing individuals that make up the Business Development team here at Gore Mutual. We’re stronger than ever, standing front and centre ready to assist our broker partners. We also constantly collaborate with underwriting, claims and billing to ensure we’re providing the best experience for our brokers and customers.
Gore Mutual recently announced an ambitious new strategic direction. What excites you about the company’s plans for the future?
What excites me the most about our ambitious new strategy is that we’re going to shake up the industry. Hold on to your hats, here comes the new and improved Gore Mutual! We’re the oldest insurance company in Canada, and we’ll be here for many more years to come by being resilient. Our customer expectations are changing rapidly, and this new strategic direction will give us the tools to respond.
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
The best career advice I’ve received is to “own it.” Whether you did something good or bad, own it! Be proud of your accomplishments: chances are that a lot of hard work, sweat and tears went into them. On the other hand, if you make a mistake, simply take ownership. Learn from your error and try not to repeat the same mistake again.
What’s something people might not know about you?
I’m shy… just kidding! I talk a lot, so everyone knows all about me, but one thing they might not know is that I have over 150 pairs of shoes. Before you all shake your heads and think “her poor husband”, he has more shoes than me!
Another thing that people might not know about me is that I like to listen to slow jams at the gym. There’s nothing better than pumping weights to the love songs of Mary J. Blige and Jodeci.
Do you have any exciting plans for the holidays? Will you be making any New Year’s resolutions for 2020?
For me, the holidays are all about family and food! We have a big family, so we make sure to spend time with everyone during this time of year. Of course, when we’re together, food is always involved. That’s why my New Year’s resolution is to maintain my exercise routine to work off all the good food from the holidays. My husband and I also love to explore the world, so we will definitely be looking to try something different and maybe visit a new country to expand our horizons.